Recent research performed by Harvard business professors demonstrates that bribery can actually make businesses more efficient.  When the red tape is removed, it is amazing how much can be accomplished in a short amount of time.  Although there is an element of efficiency introduced by bribery, it is important to understand the implications it has on you and your business. Meet Gagan Sign, a young Indian businessman.  When he started his first business at the age of 22, he discovered the hard way that bribery was part of his success, and hated it. 

Over time though, Gagan began to experience advantages of a system which has corruption.  Before he knew it, he started to embrace the implicit understanding that bribery was part of his success.  Now, Gagan actually enjoys bribery because he sees it as a regular business expense which is an enabler for him to get things done.

Corruption and deceit are in the news everyday.  Recently in China, one of the wealthiest businessmen in the country was put on trial  for corruption and paying out bribes to local officials.  The reaction of the market was positive following this event, with citizens citing a “healthier market environment”.  Although bribery and corruption come in different forms, the downside to this behavior is significant.  In fact, the United States prohibits American companies from engaging in this activity, and enforces it through federal law.

From an ethical and judicial standpoint, the lines are clear about what is allowed.  Although the temptation is great, the penalty is often much greater.  As international business people, the direction is unambiguous: Be honest and expect the same from those with whom you do business.  By taking the high road, business communities are able to influence processes which are known as “red tape” to simply create a better groundwork for all people to succeed.

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